Jorg, Makin, Sageous
Based in a post-apocalyptic world, where the European society has been thrown back into the middle ages, the Prince of Thorns tells the tale of Jorg, a young, rouge prince with a dark past and an even darker future. Jorg is the son of the King of Ancrath, a small Kingdom in where we would call central Germany. However, Jorg is not a man of privilege. After witnessing the murder of his beloved mother and brother at the hands of Ancrath’s biggest rival the Count of Renar, and his father’s lack of response to their murders, Jorg decides to become an exile and seek his own revenge from the Count!
To do this, Jorg frees a band of mercenaries from his father’s dungeons. Through hard work, cunning and pure ferocity Jorg manages to become the leader of these ‘Brothers’ and wreaks havoc across the countryside, pillaging and destroying villages as he and his men please. After a few years of running wild, Jorg realises that he has drifted away from his goal of killing Count Renar and decides to return home to his father and Ancrath. However, what he finds back home is something he does not like!
His father has remarried to a young woman and has already made her pregnant. Jorg is furious that his father can forget his mother’s death so easily. His father’s new advisor also angers Jorg, for he is a dream-witch called Sageous, a dangerous person to be around! Nevertheless, Jorg wants to stay in Ancrath and lead its men. His father does not believe Jorg is man enough to lead troops and sets him out on a quest, to capture the lands of Gelleth to Ancrath’s East. Gelleth’s main fortress is Castle Red, an impregnable stronghold. Jorg knows his task is difficult, but with his cunning and the help of his Brothers he manages to find a route under the city in the caves left by the ‘Builders’, a race that destroyed themselves with the detonation of hundreds of ‘suns’ (bombs). In these caves, Jorg and his band of Brothers uncover a race of monsters called Lueucrota who agree to help them through the caves. But, the Lueucrota are not the only things living under Castle Red. The caves are also home to Necromancers, a group of mages that live and feed off the dead. After an epic battle with these Necromancers, Jorg cuts out and eats one of their hearts and gains some of their power!
Jorg and his men find what they are looking for under Castle Red, an ancient Builder ‘Sun’ and detonate it, destroying all of Castle Red and effectively handing his father the lands of Gelleth. However, on his return to Ancrath, Jorg finds that he is betrayed by his father and Sageous and is left to die. Luckily, the Necromancer's heart saves him and puts him back on his original journey- to kill the Count of Renar. However, it is now not just for revenge, but to create himself a Kingdom in which he can destroy his father's!
This book was an amazing read but as some of you may know, there is some controversy surrounding it. I feel that I should take a few moments to describe what and why that is. The reason the book is controversial is because the protagonist, Jorg, is a rapist. Now, I must say that I do not condone what Jorg does in the book. However, I would say that as a character it makes Jorg much more believable because he is a dark and often evil character. I feel Lawrence was right to add this to Jorg’s journey and I think he does so in a tasteful way. He does not describe any aspects of the rape; he just writes how Jorg remembers doing it. I do not think this is unlike any other fantasy or historical-fiction novel, apart from the fact that it is the protagonist who is the rapist.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I can tell you more about the book. As I said above this book was amazing! I picked it up because it reminded me of Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller series which I enjoyed. However, this book was so much better! I love the character of Jorg; he is so dark and dangerous! It just makes you think of him as a bad ass, but you know that if circumstances were different he wouldn’t be that way. I also loved Lawrence’s idea of basing the book in the future but making it seem like the past. And I thought the story behind the ‘Builders’ was a nice touch and hope that he brings in more of their story in his later books.
As you can tell, I thought this book was great! I would suggest it to anyone who is a fan of fantasy novels like A Game of Thrones or The Name of the Wind. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series King of Thorns!
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